BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Juwan Morgan poured in 31 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Indiana survived a scare from UC-Davis, using a late second-half run to pull away from the Aggies to take a 76-62 victory on Friday night.
Morgan was wildly efficient from all over the court, finishing 13 of 18, including 5 of 7 from 3-point range. The Hoosiers needed everything from Morgan, as evidenced by him playing every second of the contest.
“Without him playing all 40 minutes,” Indiana head coach Archie Miller said, “I didn’t feel we would be able to win the game.”
Freshman Romeo Langford added 20 points, including crucial buckets down the stretch. The combination of Morgan and Langford proved too much for UC-Davis.
“They (Morgan and Langford) are very reliable, and having them on our side is very beneficial to us, especially when we do go through offensive lulls, they can really create their own shot and score the ball really well.
Sophomores Aljami Durham (12) and Justin Smith (11) chipped in double-digit scoring outputs as well for the Hoosiers.
Despite the somewhat lopsided final margin, the UC-Davis Aggies played tough. At one point, the Hoosiers trailed by as many as 14 on their home floor.
Every time the Hoosiers appeared to be making their run to take control, the Aggies made a play to hold onto the lead. Indiana came back to cut the halftime deficit to two.
The Aggies led for exactly 31 minutes.
With 8:33 remaining, the Hoosiers were down by six. From that point on, Indiana dominated. The Hoosiers would go on a 28-3 run, turning a six-point deficit into a 19-point lead.
Romeo Langford tied it with a layup with 7:20 remaining.
“I thought once he (Langford) tied the ballgame, the energy level went up and the crowd obviously played a big role again in the last eight minutes helping us pull it out.” Miller said.
The Hoosiers would take the lead for good on a tough Morgan layup after rebounding his own missed shot.
During that run, the Hoosiers forced six turnovers while allowing only one made field goal. Langford scored nine points in less than six minutes.
“It was a good week for our team to earn two hard fought wins when we haven’t played particularly great. You’re not always going to play great and I think the rest of this month and December is going to be a real challenge. So to be able to have a couple tough, hard-fought wins is good.”
UC-Davis: The Aggies will attempt to recapture that magic they found over the first 30 minutes in order to turn around a 1-6 start to the season.
Indiana: The Hoosiers will look to continue to ride Morgan and Langford as they get healthy in time to start Big Ten play.
The Hoosiers came into the game with plenty of injury questions. Jerome Hunter, Race Thompson, Devonte Green, and Zach McRoberts all missed tonight’s game with injuries. Langford and De’Ron Davis played despite their status being unknown hours before gametime.
UC-Davis gets nearly a week to regroup before returning home to face Northern Arizona in Thursday, November 29.
Indiana: The Hoosiers head to Cameron Indoor Stadium in hopes of handing No. 1 Duke a second straight loss.